Hispanic TV stays hot heading into upfront

More programming attracts more eyeballs and bigger ad budgets

By Published on .

Growth in Spanish-language TV spending has taken off again after a slow start last year, soaring 20.3% for the month of September 2005 and growing even faster for the rest of the year, according to TNS Media Intelligence (see chart).

Overall, Hispanic TV and print advertising grew by 6.1% in 2005-still twice as fast as English-language media at 3%-but slower than in previous years, according to TNS. For 2006, TNS forecasts still-robust 10.4% growth for Spanish-language TV, which accounts for the lion's share of Hispanic media dollars.

"Data suggest that investment in programming at Univision, [NBC Universal-owned] Telemundo and [Univision's second network] Telefutura are translating into audience gains and in turn advertising revenues," said Jon Swallen, senior-VP research, TNS.

Those networks are also doing increasingly well in the annual TV-upfront market, dominated by the English-language networks.

A seat at the table

"Hispanic networks are seen to have finally gained a seat at the upfront table and are finally being considered with networks and cable," he said.

Breaking down where the new Hispanic TV ad dollars are coming from, Mr. Swallen said some advertisers are new to the Hispanic market, like AstraZeneca's Nexium antacid and People PC, an Internet service provider that spent more than $4 million during the last four months of 2005. Established Hispanic marketers like Procter & Gamble Co., Johnson & Johnson and Clorox all added brands that hadn't had Hispanic TV budgets before, Mr. Swallen said.

During the September-December 2005 period, Unilever added nine brands that hadn't been on Spanish-language TV before, including several products from Dove, Axe body spray and Vaseline Intensive Care lotion, he said. And Nestle started advertising Coffee Mate and Nesquik on Spanish-language TV in 2005.

Although some existing advertisers cut back, others really unleashed their Hispanic-TV spending last year, especially in hot categories like wireless, beer and satellite TV. Big beer brands doubled their spending-or more. Anheuser-Busch upped outlays on Budweiser to $17.5 million from $8.9 million the previous year, and SABMiller spent $36.4 million on Miller beer in 2005, up from $17.6 million. From a much smaller base, Coors Brewing jumped to $11.2 million from $3.8 million in 2004.
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